A Delicate Matter

McCalls, Butterick, and Vogue had one of their AMAZING sales a while back, so I snagged a whole bunch of patterns.

Now I love me some dresses, but I hate feeling naked underneath dresses. I have ONE slip, and it's cheap, icky, and took long for some of my dresses so I have to manipulate the stupid thing not to show.

One of the patterns I picked up was M5651. At $1.19, even if it was a total piece of garbage, I wouldn't feel too bad about recycling it.

I did NOT sew this in a two-way knit as it recommends. Mainly because I didn't have any. I tried it pinned before I sewed it... I figured if it were too tight, I would just add in some of the elastic lace as a styling detail and to give it more room.

The pattern is really easy to follow1 And the sizes, as it also mentions on Patternreview.com, run quite large. I did the medium, but if I were to do it in a knit, I would probably go a size smaller.

This slip is less on the practical side, but I had this really pretty slinky fabric I bought from a failed draping exercise (I'm sooo not ready for that), but I love it. the cuts of underwear seem like they'd be easy (I personally have 10 pairs that I bought in style C, but unless I find stretch lace, I'll just stare at them longingly). And the details like the slit are charming. I added the bow myself, but they suggest many "personalization" options on the other pieces.

For the underwear I made, I just traced another pair I had which worked out fine.

I will ABSOLUTELY be making more of these. If I want a practical slip, I'll definitely lengthen view I. I also love the camisol so I will probably be making some of those too. However, for the camis I wear I don't want the darts, so I'll have to come back to that.

Yay for a quick sewing endeavor!

I am still chugging away at Vogue 1120 (it's a doozy!...good thing I didn't need it for Easter), but I plan to have pictures up tomorrow, whether finished or not.


Monster Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are by far the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever made or had. Better than my fake Mrs. Fields. Better than the real ones. And the best part? No artificial flavorings, no preservatives, only simple, raw ingredients.

These are LARGE cookies (hence my palm for reference). I used an ice cream scoop to portion out the dough. One of the things that makes these cookies so memorable is the fact that you roll the top half of the cookie in chocolate chips and then slightly flatten them.

The recipe is from The All-American Cookie Book, which has lovely photos and history behind the cookies which is fantastic (such as the first cookie recipe spelled it cookey. Weird, right?)

Anyways, I will definitely be making these in the future. I had to make some substitutions because I didn't have cream of tartar or cornsyrup on hand, but they were so good that I'll probably keep the substitutions in case the flavor or texture might change!


Homemade Pasta Sauce

After making pasta sauce from scratch, I don't think we'll ever be buying pre-made sauce again.

One, it's super easy! And two, it's cheap (either the same price or cheaper than buying pre-made sauce).

Here is my "recipe". I'm putting that in quotes because it's a very loose recipe.

  • 1 28-oz can of San Marzano tomatoes (pictured above)

  • 1 tablespoon of sugar

  • 1 teaspoon of tomato paste

  • Onions, garlic, olive oil

  • Salt, pepper, spices to taste.

I add the onion, garlic and olive oil and sautee that for like 5 minutes. Then I squeeze the tomatoes to mush them, and dump everything in a pot and simmer for about 30 minutes.

I would love to make this in bulk and start canning it myself. A summer or birthday project, perhaps.


Springy Easter Dress

I am in love with making dresses right now. I had gotten this pattern a while back. the envelope does the dress no justice (I guess a lighting issue), but if you look at the other pictures on the website, the dress is absolutely GORGEOUS.

I bought some fabric (with the bf's help) the same day we got the fabric for the curtains.

I love it! I wonder if I can get it finished by Easter...


Small Knitting Project

Yes, I've neglected the knitting. And no, it has nothing to do with seasonal knitting (I typically knit more in the summer because I have the time off). It's just for me, knitting is less of an instant gratification sort of thing. And, considering how the majority of my knit garments have been frumpy fitting failures (this green yarn should look familiar), I've shied away from them.

My yarn stash is at my sister-in-law's house, so I am left with limited yarn choices and yardage when I choose to knit. But how happy was I when I stumbled across this website! Simple Knits posted a blog entry that has over 600 links (sorted by yardage) of various projects to make with smaller amounts of yarn about 250 yards or less). Which is great for me because I have lots of yarn, but all in half skein or less amounts (this results when you take people's leftovers)

But, how do you mess up the fit on a wrist cuff? Initially, this project is meant to be a Backbone Bookmark. Totally cute, right? But, when you teach, you really don't get a lot of time to read during the school year, so I figured a bookmark wouldn't make sense. But a little wristcuff? Yes, please! I love large bracelets, and while this isn't a bracelet, I hope it will be more refined than an athletic sweat band or some emo accessory. I do still need buttons though.

Also, since this is my spring break week, expect more frequent posts about awesome things! I already have about two posts, but I'm trying to space them out or save them for when life gets too crazy to post on a regular schedule.


M6011 Finished!

That's it. The only finished picture I have of the dress (with laundry that needs to be folded in the background). The lighting in the apartment really does not catch any of the detail. However, it has been very rainy the past week or so, so I figured I'd just put up a picture of the dress to put some closure on it. If/when the weather gets better, maybe I'll post another. I am calling this dress the Three Generation Dress because there are three generations represented in it. My grandmother gave me the lace and the lace lining a few months back. It was leftover from the sheers in her dining room. The blue fabric was in my mother's fabric stash that I acquired after she moved out. And the maker of this garment was me! My students were impressed, and I'm very happy with it. The next project to tackle is Vogue 1120. I have cut out the lining and some of the fabric pieces. Since I am currently on my spring break (a MUCH needed one with all of the job security stress), my goal is to finish the dress before I head on back to work. Hopefully they'll be some updates sooner than later!

Happy Breakfast

When I saw this Smiley Face pancake pan in the JC Penny catalog last November, I knew that this had to go on my Christmas wish list.

SO I got it. And the first time I made them, it was a disaster. The second time, a disaster (the batter expands and they become impossible to flip) However, I wanted to surprise Ryan with breakfast in bed this morning, so I gave it a third try. I got smarter. I only use about 3T batter for each little pancake. They still weren't perfect, but I'm getting better. Next time I'll reduce the heat a little more (they got a wee scorched on medium) and try to flip them a little later. However, this is the first time we've been able to eat pancakes using this plate, so I considered it a success.


Finished Curtains!

Well, it took an extra week because we had trouble picking out perfect curtain rods, but I am thrilled with how everything turned out. They're a little wrinkly from sitting in a pile (albeit a folded pile) for over a week, but I'll steam them flat later. For now, I'm just happy that they are finally up!


More zippered goodness

I know, I know. M6011 has been finished (I even wore it on Monday), but there are no pictures. My darling photographer took two, both of which were blurry and did not show off the dress at all. This weekend, I promise I will.

I have trying to wear all skirts or dresses this week just to be more feminine, and I've succeeded. Of course, it'd have to be the last day that I'd hit a snag. I was also trying to wear pieces that I had made as well (my female students seem particular amazed that someone can "make" clothes). So I wanted to wear this one dress I had made last year when I had to chapone the Winter Ball.

The teachers have to dress up, so I wanted something pretty but much more conservative than most of the dresses I own (length and strap width). I hybridized two different patterns together, modified the ruffle on the Coffee Date dress from BurdaStyle, and ended up with something reasonable.

There are two reasons I have not worn it since.

  1. The underfabric I used does not fit right with the dress and just looks "off". Considering how far I've come in sewing lately, I pretty much shudder at the fact I wore it,

  2. The zipper was white. It was supposed to be an "invisible" zipper, but the way I sewed it. Well, a picture is worth a 1000 words...

So I sat down tonight and took out the zipper. Then fixed it. It's all better, but now I realize the dress no longer fits! The zipper is a good 2-3" unclosed at the top. Fail. As soon as I clean it up a little bit more, it'll be finding a new home in Goodwill.

Look for updates this weekend.


Home decorating



Ryan and I are heading out to Home Depot this weekend to get a better curtain rod (the one I got this weekend was just too flimsy to hold up the curtains I made. Tune in then to see the new curtains!


Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes

These were made in the same spirit as the Ultimate Chocolate Chip cupcakes. My younger (he's 21) brother came over two weekends ago for "Bake Sunday" where we catch up and typically bake something. So we made chocolate cupcakes filled with raw (but still eggless) peanut butter cookie dough. My peanut butter cookie dough is ridiculously easy

  • 1 c. peanut butter

  • 1 c. sugar

  • 1 egg

Since we used the Reese's brand peanut butter (and because they are chocolate filled with peanut butter), I decided to call them Reese's Peanut Butter Cupcakes. =)


Dress Update

Oh, this McCalls 6011 dress... I made so mich progress. And then the zipper. An invisible zipper. I pin it, I baste it, I sew it. And then I zipped it closed. It works! But upon closer inspection...

It's like when you mess up the order of the buttons. I still tried it on anyway, and I'm glad that I did. The dress needs to be taken in about an inch or so on each side before I sew the zipper back on. But when it's finished (hopefully tonight, that means I get to look at my other patterns and decide what to do next!